Andre Ward did about as expected in a routine tune-up that more resembled sparring than a real prize fight tonight, beating Colombia’s Alexander Brand over 12 rounds in Oakland, winning every round on all three judges’ scorecards. Scores were 120-108 across the board, which is also what BLH had on our unofficial card, and really the only possible score.
The real news is the fact that we now have Ward (30-0, 15 KO) fully set for his highly-anticipated November fight with Sergey Kovalev, who holds the WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles, and is regarded as the best 175-pounder in the sport right now, as well as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters.
This fight with Brand (25-2, 19 KO) did little to really sell that fight, but for what that fight is going to realistically sell, it sells itself. Brand, 39, is an awkward fighter who doesn’t really engage, has poor fundamentals, but is tough enough to take shots and keep going. He wasn’t remotely competitive here, but he did try to what was likely the best of his ability. It was a lousy HBO fight, but they’ve aired worse in terms of action.
Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KO) was ringside for the fight, and got into the ring after for an HBO interview with Ward. Both were respectful, and said they’re looking forward to November.